Radical media, politics and culture.


widing writes:

A new life in a new city

People – let’s face it. If we all acknowledged the possibilities of dying tomorrow, few of us would be satisfied by how we have lived and are living our life today. Is the “concealment of death” just one of those many things necessary for the continuation of western lifestyle? I believe so. In the end it’s all about priorities set in a system proclaiming “there will always be a tomorrow”.

Ned Rossiter writes: Here's a report on creative labour that I've written for the
fibreculture [fc] list.

"Creative Labour and the Role of Intellectual Property"

Ned Rossiter, September 2003

Here's my report based on the survey I conducted for the fibrepower
panel initiated by Kate Crawford and Esther Milne -- Intellectual
Property—Intellectual Possibilities (Brisbane, July 03). I wanted to
explore in some empirical fashion the relationship between
intellectual property and creative labour. Why?

"The Global Economy in Transition"

Henry C.K. Liu

An economy is not an abstraction. An economy is the material
manifestation of a political system, which in turn is the interplay of
group interests representing, among others, gender, age, religion,
property, class, sector, region or nation. Individual interests are not
issues of politics. Therefore, the politics of individualism is an
oxymoron, and by extension, the Hayekian notion of a market of
individual decisions is an ideological fantasy. Markets are phenomena
of large numbers and herd instinct where unique individualism is of
little consequence. The defining basis of politics is power, which
takes many forms: moral, intellectual, financial, electoral and
military. In an overcapacity environment, company executives lament
about the loss of pricing power. The global economy is the material
manifestation of the global geopolitical system, and global
macroeconomics is the rationalization of that geopolitical system.

pscap writes:

New Resources for Popular Educators

"Hey, I work with this group called the planting seeds community awareness project, and we just put up a new website with a syllabus database for popular educators, zine resources, an article database and a lot more!!! Here's the announcement about it, that includes a call for contributors for the site."

The Subversion of Everyday Life

1 [Work]

2 [Capital, Gender, the State]

3 [Class Struggle]

4 [Tendencies]

5 [Revolution]

6 [Revolutionary Struggle]

Who is that told you that life is yet to begin? Or are you already
waiting for your pension?

Monday morning - get up, go out, call in sick, can't do anything
else, don't want to do anything else, just keep going. Get up again,
go out, school, work, get back, knackered, cook, wash. Time or
money, stomach-ulcer-skin-inflammation, just keep going. Friday,
disco, cinema, friends, Sunday family walks. It is enough! Let not (!)
just grin and bare it!

[This article continues from here.]

V: Analysis by Anecdote: Anti-war, Stopwar.ca and the City of Vancouver.

Solidarity is one of the catchwords of the left, always has been for
everyone, even a right social democrat. When people say 'solidarity' they
mean a multitude of things, but formerly it was said that (in the words of
Che Guevara) "Solidarity means sharing the same risks", yet now solidarity
now is used to mis-identify "I agree with you." But if it doesn't mean more
than that, it means nothing at all and is a superfluous word. I can only
give an example from my own recent activist life by way of telling
anecdotes. There are anti-war coalitions in every part of the industrialized
world now. They are, much like TUB's in imperialist countries, historically
relevant; nature abhors a vacuum and so do historical processes. It is worth
both the time and the energy to support the existing coalitions, to not
fight against them -- especially right now, during a reactionary triumphalism
emanating from Downing Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. However, we need to
have a look at what kind of politics these coalitions are bringing about,
and how they are functioning in terms of raising our own understanding of
what is happening.

Macdonald Stainsby submits:

Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number --

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you --

Ye are many -- they are few. -- Percy Shelley

"Neither Trade Talks Nor Peace Talks:

Notes On Resistance"

Macdonald Stainsby, July 2003

I: Introduction: By Way Of Analogy.

II: A Better World Is Possible: Practice It Now.

III: Nationalism: Canada and North America.

IV: Trade Unions, Imperialism and Revolution.

V: Analysis by Anecdote: Anti-war, Stopwar.ca and the City of Vancouver.

VI: On The Question Of Leadership.

VII: Palestine: What Kind Of World Are We Struggling For?

VIII: An End To Shame & A New Beginning.

Anonymous Kumquat submits:

This edited introduction is from Han's latest book: The Economics of Competition: A Critique of Paul Samuelson's "Economics," published by Jingji Kexue, Chubanshe, 2002

"The Economics of Competition: A Critique of Paul Samuelson"

Han Deqiang, China Study Group

A Collective "Prisoners' Dilemma"

China has switched to a market economy for a whole decade now. People once
hoped, and may still be dreaming that, as the institution matures and
perfects itself, China would become a strong developed country, where
democracy rules and people enjoy high quality of life not only in material
terms but also in spiritual and moral terms.

But reality seems to be moving
farther away from such a dream. Since the late 1990's, all kinds of Chinese
enterprises have gone bankrupt en masse. With it came increased
unemployment, lower mandatory retirement age, lower wages for workers,
decreased income for farmers and slack domestic demand. With the influx of
foreign enterprises and foreign products, many Chinese enterprises have
switched their business lines because they no longer have the confidence to
run a high-tech business at a profit. They become de facto employees of
those foreign enterprises, earning meager fees for their efforts.

In the
meantime, there has been a staggering number of tragic mine accidents that
kill thousands year after year. Major accidents involving large number of
deaths, such as firework factory explosions, plane crashes, as well as fires
at cyber cafes, night clubs, theaters and shopping malls have occurred with
mind-numbing frequency; villages and small towns are flooded with fake or
poor quality products; drugs and AIDS are rampant. Not only has corruption
become a normal way of doing things among many officials, but it has also
become a normal part of the values/belief system of the collective national
psyche, marked by an egregious lack of civil-mindedness and ethical
awareness. Teachers, doctors, lawyers and accountants all share the belief
that " One must make use of one's position of power for self-enrichment
before one loses it"; schools have become agencies that sell diplomas;
hospitals force patients to pay up or leave.

Anonymous Kumquat submits:

"Theses on the Mass Worker and Social Capital"

Guido Baldi, Radical America (Vol. 6, No. 3, May-June 1972)


The years from the beginning of the century up to the English general strike of 1926 witness this crucial new feature in class struggle: Whereas deep contradictions between developed and backward areas characterize capitalism at this stage and confine it to national levels of organization, the political autonomy and independence of the working class reach an international level: For the first time, capital is bypassed by the workers at an international level. The first international cycle, roughly 1904 to 1906, is a cycle of mass strikes which at times develops into violent actions and insurrections. In Russia, it starts with the Putilov strike and develops into the 1905 revolution. 1904 is the date of the first Italian general strike. In Germany, the spontaneous Ruhr miners' strike of 1905 on the eight-hour issue and the Amburg general strike of 1906 lead a class wave that overflows into a large network of middle-sized firms. In the US, the miners' strikes of 1901 and 1904 and the foundation of the 1WW in 1905 seem to be a premonition of the struggles to come.

Anonymous Kumquat submits:

"The Strategy of The Refusal"

Mario Tronti

This article develops a concept that has been fundamental to autonomous politics in Italy -- the concept of the working-class refusal -- The refusal of work, the refusal of capitalist development, the refusal to act as bargaining partner within the terms of the capital relation. If we accept Tronti's description of the working class as developing within the structures of capitalist production, but outside of, free from, its political initiative, then we have a test-bed for a radical critique of current forms of Marxist orthodoxy regarding organisation. The argument contained in this piece is developed still further -- in the context of a new class composition -- in Toni Negri's concept of working class and proletarian "self-valorisation", contained in the article "Domination and Sabotage". The Strategy of the Refusal was written in 1965 as part of the "Initial Theses 11" in Tronti's Operai e Capitale (Workers and Capital), Einaudi, Turin, 1966, pp.234-252. Another Tronti article from Operai e Capitale was published in the CSE pamphlet No.1: "The Labour Process and Class Strategies," 1976, ISBN 85035 025 5.

Adam Smith says -- and Marx comments on the accuracy of his observation -- that the effective development of the productive power of labour begins when labour is transformed into wage labour, that is, when the conditions of labour confront it in the form of capital. One could go further and say that the effective development of the political power of labour really begins from the moment that labourers are transformed into workers, that is, when the whole of the conditions of society confront them as capital. We can see, then, that the political power of workers is intimately connected to the productive power of wage labour. This is in contrast to the power of capital, which is primarily a social power. The power of workers resides in their potential command over production, that is, over a particular aspect of society. Capitalist power, on the other hand, rests on a real domination over society in general. But the nature of capital is such that it requires a society based on production. Consequently production, this particular respect of society, becomes the aim of society in general. Whoever controls and dominates it controls and dominates everything.


Subscribe to Work